Ryan Gosling, dolorous darling of the quirky indie film set, is edging ever closer to a Johnny Depp-like blossoming into big-budget franchise work with his recently announced starring role in Logan’s Run. So it’s somewhat appropriate to hear that Gosling may play The Lone Ranger to Depp’s Tonto in Gore Verbinksi’s upcoming big screen version—a teaming that’s either a symbolic passing of the torch, or Depp engineering some sort of Freaks-esque, “one of us” corruption. At the moment, of course, Gosling is still only in talks, and it’s possible that scheduling problems could eventually prevent him from taking the role of the masked lawman, given that the film isn’t scheduled to debut until the far-off date of 2014, when “law” will have become an ironic relic of our pre-feral nomad past.
But if Gosling agrees to join Depp, Verbinski, and their Pirates Of The Caribbean pal Jerry Bruckheimer, he’ll likely be lured in by Verbinski’s slightly more askew take: “The only version of The Lone Ranger I’m interested in doing is Don Quixote told from Sancho Panza’s point of view,” Verbinski recently told the L.A. Times. “And hence I was honest early on with Johnny that Tonto is the part. We’re not going to do it [straight], everyone knows that story. I don’t want to tell that story… I want the version from the untrustworthy narrator who might be a little crazy—but somehow the question is, is he crazy or is the world crazy? That, I find fascinating.”
But then the L.A. Times also asked Verbinski if he was familiar with this famous Far Side cartoon, to which Verbisnki replied, “Well, that’s kind of the world we want to be in.” So genuinely odd or subversive or self-referential and jokey—it doesn’t seem like even Verbinski knows for sure yet what direction this will take. But we do know one thing: In order to one-up whatever quirky accent Depp comes up with, Gosling is really going to have to pack on the pounds or cut off his ear or something.
UPDATE: EW is now reporting that Gosling's reps confirmed he won't be taking the part. The field is now wide open for some other actor known for off-kilter indies. Jesse Eisenberg?